In 3D_computer_graphics, rendering is the process of drawing a 2D image, based upon a scene description (which may include geometry and material properties). It is typically a slow, computationally intensive process. The term is by analogy with an "artist's rendering" of a scene.
When the pre-image (a wireframe sketch usually) is complete, rendering is used, which adds in textures, lights, bump mapping, and relative position to other objects. The result is a completed image the consumer or intended viewer sees.
For animations, several images (frames) must be rendered, and stitched together in a program capable of making an animation of this sort. Most 3-D image editing programs can do this.
There are a number of different phenomena that need to be simulated when rendering a scene:
- diffuse reflection
- specular reflection
- global illumination
- depth of field
- motion blur
All of these effects can be summed up in a single 'rendering equation' that contains very complex constants that in effect encode the scene.
All 3-D rendering software and hardware produces an approximation to a solution of the idealised rendering equation.
Methods of rendering include:
Rendering often takes place on a render farm.
Rendering software includes:
Fill in research - image based rendering, non photorealism, hardware assisted, etc.